Poem: Secondhand Moonlight

By: Hana Khalyleh


A dingy harem, scattered with junkies,
Stinking of lust and dusty Forget-Me-Nots

A black-veiled, crimson-lipped beauty
Night-haired and spacey-eyed
Purple painted nails laced with cigarette smoke
And a stubby cigarette laced with moonlight
Skulks to my side and burns a hand on my thigh

Age is creeping up her legs
And her panties smell of other men
And a bold-faced tattoo of last month’s rent
Is stamped across her feverish forehead

Paper-thin desperation and two mouths to feed with a top hat on top
But the champagne tastes like honey and smells like jazz

You want to dance, Baby Girl?

So I jive with the Shadows and their Whores
Choking on secondhand moonlight

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